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Make a PotluckCozy 

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Make a Potluck Cozy 

Written By: Diane Gilleland 


I got this idea from my Mom -- when she brings a hot dish to a potluck, she usually wraps it 
in old towels so it stays warm in transit. So I decided to refashion a felted wool sweater into 
a kind of padded envelope to carry potluck dishes in. The food will stay warm, and when you 
get there, you'll have a built-in trivet to set it on! 


Your favorite potluck dish (I'm using a 9x13 pan)Cutting board that fits the potluck dishOne large wool sweater, felted in 
a washing machine see note belowOne additional felted wool sweater or blanket for liningScissorsStraight pinsSewing 
machine and threadTape-style Velcro, 10" Additional felt, buttons, etc. for embellishments (optional)Hand-sewing needle 
and embroidery floss (optional) 

Note: Different kinds of wool sweaters will behave differently during the felting process. 
Some will shrink a great deal. Others, hardly at all. I recommend starting with a large-size 
sweater, so you'll have as much felt to work with as possible. For this project, I'm also using 
a wool-blend blanket from my local thrift store, which I felted in the washing machine. If you 
don't have a blanket, you can felt a second sweater. 

In addition, I've specified a cutting board for this project that will act as a sturdy base for 
your cozy. (Don't worry, you'll be able to slide it right out of the cozy when you're not using 
it.) If you don't have a cutting board in your kitchen that fits, you can also buy rigid plastic 
sheeting at a home improvement store and have it cut to size. Or check your local dollar 
store for inexpensive cutting boards. 

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Make a PotluckCozy 

Step 1 — Make a Potluck Cozy 

• Step 1 : We're going to build this cozy to fit your favorite potluck dish, so I won't be giving 
you too many measurements here. To test your sweater's fit, place your potluck dish on 
top of your cutting board, and slide them together into the body of the sweater. Place one 
end of the dish near the bottom edge of the sweater, like this.... 

• The other end of your dish should end up right about here (where I'm pointing) at the top of 
the sweater. (You'll need this extra space at the top to create a flap closure.) 

Step 2 

• Step 2: Cut the sleeves off the 
sweater, following the seam lines. 
Cut the sweater apart at the 
shoulder seams, too. Then turn it 
inside out and sew the bottom edge 
closed, using a 1/2" seam 

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Make a PotluckCozy 

Step 3 

• Step 3: Your sweater may be a bit too wide for your dish, like this one is. If that's the case, 
just slide the dish and cutting board inside and center them between the side seams. 

• Place pins along the side seams, placing them so the sweater fits more snugly around the 
dish. Then, sew new side seams along your pinned lines. Trim the seam allowances to 


Step 4 

• Step 4: Cut away the front panel of 
the sweater, cutting straight across 
at the bottom of the neckline. If 
your sweater has a crew neck 
instead of a V-neck, you may end 
up trimming a little more away 
below the neckline than I am in 
these photos. This panel, where the 
front of the sweater was, I'll now be 
calling the top panel of your cozy. 
Leave the back panel in place for 
now; we'll use it later to make a 

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Make a PotluckCozy 

Step 5 

• Step 5: To add an extra layer of 
insulation to the inside of your 
cozy, cut another piece of wool felt 
(again, blanket, sweater -- 
whatever you have). It should be 
the same size as the top panel of 
the cozy. Pin this piece to the top 
panel of the cozy. 

Step 6 

* Step 6: Attach this felt to the cozy 
by zigzag stitching or serging 
through all the layers along the side 
and bottom seam allowances. 

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• Step 7: Turn the cozy right side out 
again. See how this extra felt 
insulates the top? Great -- now 
we'll insulate the bottom, too. 

Step 8 

• Step 8: Cut another piece of felt 
that wraps around your cutting 
board, with 1/2" of extra fabric 
around the long side, 1/2" at the 
bottom edge, and and 3" at the top. 
We'll use this to make a simple 

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• Step 9: Fold this piece in half and 
sew along the side and bottom, 
using a 1/2" seam allowance. Turn 
the sleeve right side out and slide 
in your cutting board, as shown. 
Then, trim away the excess on the 
top front, so that the top back 
forms a flap. 

Step 10 

• Step 1 0: Sew 2" tabs of Velcro to 
the flap and the sleeve to keep it 
closed. Slide the insulated cutting 
board into your cozy. Not only does 
it protect the bottom (and your 
hands, when you carry it), you can 
also slide it out and use it as a 
trivet at the potluck. 

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Make a PotluckCozy 
Step 11 

• Step 1 1 : Depending on how your 
sweater is constructed, you may 
need to make a little adjustment to 
the opening of your cozy. My 
sweater was built so that my cozy 
was a little narrower near the 
opening, so I opened the side 
seams a bit and split them. I then 
zigzag stitched the edges of the 
sweater to the insulation layer 
underneath. Presto -- a slightly 
wider opening! (If your sweater 
doesn't need this adjustment, go 
ahead and skip this step.) 

Step 12 

• Step 12: Cut the back panel of the 
sweater straight across now, 
removing the back of the collar 
ribbing and any labels. The rest of 
this back panel will become the flap 
closure for your cozy. 

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Make a PotluckCozy 
Step 13 

• Step 13: Cut another strip of 
insulating felt that's the same size 
as as the flap. Pin this piece to the 
inside of the flap. 

Step 14 

• Step 14: Zigzag stitch the 2 pieces 
together around all 4 edges. 

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Make a PotluckCozy 
Step 15 

• Step 15: Sew 2" tabs of Velcro to 
the ends and center of the flap. 
Sew matching tabs to the body of 
the cozy. 

Step 16 

• Step 16: Embellish your cozy any 
way you like! When I sew on felt 
shapes like this, I like to glue them 
in place first, using just a little glue 
at the centers. That keeps them in 
position as I whip stitch the edges. 

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Make a PotluckCozy 
Step 17 

• A note on washing your cozy: You 
can machine wash and dry your 
cozy, but wool can be 
unpredictable -- you never know 
when it might do some more 
shrinking. So, I recommend 
washing in cold water and tumble 
drying on the coolest setting your 
dryer has. 

st generated on 2012-11-03 02:30:21 AM. 

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